Friday, August 28, 2015

Fictional Friday: More D&D5 Random Thoughts

I miss Ability score damage. I thought it was an absolutely brilliant mechanic in 3e. It expanded so many options for dealing and suffering damage, and it just made so much sense in a flavor context.

For example, poisons that damaged the brain or nervous system caused loss of Dexterity, Intelligence or Wisdom. That just makes so much sense.

Now, we're back to poisons causing hit point damage. Boring and illogical.

I do like how Petrification is handled. Those "instant death" effects suck, and there are so many of them. For Petrification, the new mechanics have that cinematic feel of "slowly being turned, does our hero resist [Y/N]??"

The flip side to "watering down" the "instant death" effects is that some of them just feel lame (even if less "suck"). For example, Paralysis seems to last one minute, unless you save first, and you can try every round. So much for the drama of rescuing the prince after him being dragged off by ghouls to be eaten later. I mean, either he'll escape by himself, or they'll just kill him early to stop him escaping. I admit, when my PC is taken out of the fight by paralysis, I am glad for the chance to recover every round, because I hate twiddling my thumbs until the cleric gets around to burning a scroll of remove paralysis (reason #7 she took the Scribe Scroll feat), but there just isn't a lot of cinematic drama in "Oh, quit whining, you'll save it off in a round or two!"

Disintegration and "Death Ray" effects cause hit point damage? That doesn't even feel right, let alone have cinematic impact. Yes, the damage types are well matched (Force and Necrotic, respectively), and now I can resist them, because they have damage types, but was that a "Death Ray" or "cause wounds"? Yeah, I can't tell either.

I like 5e. It does a lot of things well, and like 4e, everything is built around the "play faster, adventure more" model. It just isn't the cumbersome do-everything-right(ish) that 3e was :-)